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News - 9th of October 2023

PICA presents world premiere of At the End of the Land – part encounter, part gothic-horror, from a team of WA’s most visionary creators.

PICA presents world premiere of At the End of the Land – part encounter, part gothic-horror, from a team of WA’s most visionary creators.

“A company known for installation theatre works that combine intense performances with stunning aesthetics.” – The Huffington Post

“This is intensely moving theatre, and for all the bleakness, beautiful. Rubin makesthe unbearable seem bearable. Horror bows to wonder. I left feeling stricken butradiant.” – The Age (Melbourne)

For their Kambarang/Birak season, Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts (PICA) is thrilled to present the world premiere of At the End of the Land – a dark and dreamlike encounter with the great unknown – from celebrated Western-Australian-based theatre-makers Too Close to the Sun, from 28 November to 2 December 2023. 
Travelling to the afterlife, an unreliable teenage narrator and her demonic Red Monkey sidekick muse over the disappearance of her fellow Victorian-era orphans and what it’s like to be dead. 
For their first-ever season at PICA, internationally praised Too Close to the Sun bring their renowned absurdist and immersive theatre style with a David Lynchian-esque solo show from award-winning poet and performance maker (and Too Close to the Sun co-founder) Talya Rubin.
Weaving together two worlds and creating an inner-dreamlike-trance, joining Rubin are some of the country’s distinguished creators, including director and Too Close to the Sun co-founder Nick James; acclaimed video designer Samuel James; award-winning composer and sound designer Rachael Dease; and multidisciplinary artist and recent Richard Lester Prize Portraiture winner Tarryn Gill as the Red Monkey maker.
Rubin expresses her own experience of being psychic as a child, seeing ghosts and the invisible, and her changing relationship to this mysterious realm. The work ultimately expresses the value of the unknowable as rich territory for true human experience.

At the End of the Land is about the liminal space between life and death,” says Rubin. 
It is an uncanny and unsettling exploration of things that we don’t understand, that we’re trying to grapple and wrestle with in terms of the nature of our existence
I’m hoping that audiences come away with an experience of something that is really dark, immersive and unusual. That alters the nature of their questioning of existence and leaves them with the feeling of more of the mystery of what it means to be alive and human.”

With the use of spirit photography, mediumship and projections, Rubin explores her own brushes with the beyond in a frenzied, non-linear narrative.

Founded in 2009 by Rubin and James, Too Close to the Sun is an interdisciplinary theatre company at the cross-section of performance, visual art, video and sound. Best known for it’s immersive performance works and non-linear approach, the company has toured across Australia to organisations such as Arts House, Brisbane Powerhouse, Brisbane Festival and Metro Arts; as well as residencies at CultureLAB Arts House, Terrapin Theatre, Sydney University, The National Arts Centre (CA) and The Banff Centre (CA).

Part encounter, part gothic horror, At the End of the Land is a highly aesthetic, uncanny investigation into the things we cannot explain.

At the End of the Land runs from 28 November to 2 December in PICA’s Performance Space.

Tickets on sale now at

Media Contact

Tiki Menegola | | +61 467 227 822

Performance Dates

Tuesday 28 November | 7pm – Preview
Wednesday 29 November | 7pm – Opening Night
Thursday 30 November | 7pm
Friday 1 December | 7pm
Saturday 2 December | 2pm & 7pm


Original Concept, Performer, Writer, Co-devisor – Talya Rubin
Co-devisor, Director – Nick James
Producer – Alison Halit
Video Design – Samuel James
Composer – Rachael Dease
Voice Alteration – Tim Collins
Sound Design – Daniel Herten & Hayley Forward
Lighting Design – Niklas Pajanti 
Set Design – Laura Heffernan & Talya Rubin
Costume Design – Nicole Marrington
Red Monkey Maker – Tarryn Gill
Set Builder – Janet Carter

Artist Biographies

Too Close to the Sun is an interdisciplinary theatre company making work at the cross-section of performance, visual art, video and sound. Founded in 2009, the two key collaborators, Talya Rubin and Nick James, are based under the same roof on Wadjuk Nyoongar boodja. They are interested in the edges, the unknown and the uncanny, and often follow a series of seemingly unrelated threads in their work with depth and dark humour, weaving performances into a non-linear totality. They pursue transformative and unexpected experiences for audiences.

Talya Rubin is a poet, performer and creator of new work for live performance. Originally from Montreal, Canada, as a child she acted in feature film and television roles alongside Alan Arkin, James Woods, Loretta Switt and Elliot Gould.  Talya has toured original solo works across Australia, including Brisbane Festival, Performance Space, Arts House, Brisbane Powerhouse, Metro Arts and Adelaide Fringe (produced by Vitalstatistix). Her most recent works have been developed at Arts House CultureLAB, Fremantle Arts Centre, KISS Club with PICA and pvi collective, Spare Parts, Live Dreams at Performance Space and Bundanon. Her work was part of The National Arts Centre Collaborations Project (Canada). As a poet, Talya won a national Canadian poetry award for the most promising poet under the age of 35. Her second collection, Iceland is Melting and So Are You was published by Book*hug Press, Toronto in October 2021.

Nick James is a co-founder of Too Close to the Sun and a writer, film and theatre director. Born in Chile from Australian parents, Nick has directed and co-devised the company’s previous works Of the Causes of Wonderful Things and The Bluebird Mechanicals. He has participated in numerous curated residencies with Too Close to the Sun, including The Banff Centre, The Rex Cramphorn Studio (Sydney University), Metro Arts, HotHouse Theatre and PWM Montreal. His first short film was screened at twenty Australian and international festivals, and he has recently completed two new shorts. Nick is currently working on several feature film projects in development in 2023.

Samuel James has been a projection designer for contemporary performance companies and independent dancers for almost 25 years. He has collaborated on approximately 250 performance works, ranging from theatre and dance in major Australian festivals (currently Legs on the Wall’s Man with the Iron Neck, Brisbane, Sydney and Adelaide Festivals) to developments with experimental, independent companies such as Too Close to the Sun, De Quincey Company, Theatre Kantanka and My Darling Patricia. Samuel recently toured with Back to Back Theatre making their performance film The Democratic Set (Utrecht, Netherlands, and Calgary), filmed in Noumea with Marrugeku, designed immersive projections for Darlinghurst Theatre’s The Sound of Waiting, and made a three-year community video installation (Hyperreal Tales of the Shoalhaven) with Bundanon Trust. His large-scale exhibitions include presentations at Artspace, Performance Space and Campbelltown Arts Centre, Sydney.

Hayley Forward is a sound artist and engineer, producing compositions, sound designs, performances and sound installations for the visual and performing arts. As an artist, Hayley collaborated with Jess Olivieri as the Parachutes for Ladies whose exhibitions included Framed Movements, ACCA, Melbourne: Women GOMA, Brisbane; and Primavera, MCA, Sydney. As a sound designer, Hayley creates atmospheric soundscapes and incorporates ideas into the weave of her own creative work. Recent credits include Tacita Dean’s, Event for a Stage at Carriageworks, Sydney and Too Close to the Sun’s Of the Causes of Wonderful Things and The Bluebird Mechanicals. Her sound design in theatre earned a Greenroom award nomination for Ignite production’s Jet of Blood. Hayley is also highly regarded as an audio consultant and technician, working with (among others) Mira Calix at Sydney Festival, Sydney Theatre Company, Sydney Festival Adelaide Festival and Sydney Symphony Orchestra.

Tarryn Gill is a multidisciplinary artist who makes artworks spanning the mediums of sculpture, photography, film, drawing, set/costume design and performance. Through her solo and collaborative practices, Gill has exhibited works and undertaken residency projects across Australia, Argentina, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Portugal, the United Kingdom and the United States. Notably, she has exhibited works in the 2016 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art: Magic Object; 17th Biennial of Sydney; Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography; Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney; Art Gallery of Western Australia; Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane and Akademie der Künste, Berlin. In Australia, Gill’s works are held in numerous public and private collections. She is represented by Sophie Gannon Gallery, Melbourne.

Thank You to Our Supporters

At the End of the Land is supported by the City of Melbourne through Arts House. It was developed with the assistance of Terrapin Puppet Theatre through the Australian Contemporary Puppetry Residency; and the Visual Arts Residency Program with Fremantle Arts Centre, which is part of the City of Fremantle and is supported by the Department of Local Government Sport and Cultural Industries; and Spare Parts Puppet Theatre through its artist in residence program. An early video iteration of the project was part of LIVE DREAMS, presented by Performance Space. This project has also been assisted by the Australian Government through Creative Australia, its principal arts investment and advisory body.

Image: Too Close to the Sun, At the End of the Land, photo: Samuel James